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Rochester sits atop Eastern Conference with 40 points through 26 games

Smith makes impact in return, Mittelstadt joins team

by Rochester Americans @AmerksHockey / Amerks.com

A two-game sweep of the Laval Rocket this past weekend has the Amerks three points ahead of the Toronto Marlies for first place in the AHL's North Division standings with three games remaining prior to the annual Christmas break. 

Rochester comes into the week having earned points in 15 of its last 16 contests dating back to Nov. 1, showing a 13-1-1-1 record over that span. 

The Amerks have posted different win streaks of three or more, including a stretch of five straight wins from Nov. 13 to Nov. 23.

 

Scoring leaders

Player GP G A PTS
1. Andrew Oglevie 26 10 9 19
2. Jean-Sebastien Dea 24 10 8 18
Kevin Porter 25 6 12 18
Zach Redmond 23 4 14 18
5. Brett Murray 21 3 12 15

 

Goaltending leaders

Player GP W L OTL GAA SV% SO
Andrew Hammond 15 10 2 2 2.22 .916 4
Jonas Johansson 13 8 2 2 2.09 .927 2

 

Mittelstadt embracing opportunity in Rochester

On Sunday, the Sabres assigned forward Casey Mittelstadt to Rochester. 

Here's a sampling for Monday's written feature on Amerks.com

Watch: Youtube Video

Now that he's here, he's focused and determined to work on the things that made him so successful last season while hoping to contribute to an Amerks team that is surging up the standings. For however long Mittelstadt may be here in Rochester, it's a time for him to grow and learn while alleviating some of the pressure that he may have been feeling at the NHL level while seeing the game from a different viewpoint.

"I think there's always pressure from myself and it's nice to come down here. It's a little bit different and I get to hang out with some of the guys my age that I know really well. Obviously, there's going to be some things that I'm going to need to get used to," stated Mittelstadt when asked if this move could help him get back to his best game.

There's not one particular thing that the second-year pro can pinpoint as to why the move may have happened, but he does admit that sometimes you just go in and out of the flow of the game. After his 16-game rut, Mittelstadt got on the scoresheet only twice with a lone goal and an assist through his last six games in Buffalo. And after an admittedly poor defensive effort against the Vancouver Canucks on Dec. 7, the forward found himself as a healthy scratch in three of his next four games while still on the Sabres roster.

Watch: Youtube Video

"I think there's a lot of things I can still learn, but I think I'm just trying to find what made me good again. Like I said, just to have the puck on my stick, being able to play with the puck on my stick, use my skill and get back to that," the forward remarked when asked how he could take advantage of his playing time while in the American Hockey League.

Mittelstadt is joining the Amerks at a remarkable time, with the team having earned points in 15 of their last 16 games and holding a three-point lead for first place in the North Division over the Toronto Marlies. With all of the back and forth action between players and staff from Buffalo all the way to Cincinnati, Rochester's success can be attributed to the close-knit group that head coach Chris Taylor has at hand.

You can read the full feature here. 


News and notes

Tweet from @AmerksHockey: RECAP | Amerks win third straight game as Andrew Hammond gets his fourth shutout of the year with a 5-0 victory over the Rocket. READ: https://t.co/nasnbxRGGp pic.twitter.com/ZnxYUYUeQa

  • Saturday's 5-0 victory over Laval marked the fifth time this season the Amerks shutout their opponent. Rochester has scored at least four goals or more in each of their shutout victories this season.
  • The Amerks became just the third team in the American Hockey League this season to reach the 40-point plateau as they have collected 40 out of a possible 52 points through their first 26 games. Additionally, the club has picked points in 20 of the last 23 contests overall, going 16-3-2-2. 

 

  • Rochester's four regulation losses are tied for fewest in the league.
  • With 18 wins through their first 26 games, the Amerks can potentially reach the 20-win mark as early as this week. It'll be the fewest amount of games to reach 20 wins since the 2009-10 Amerks eclipsed the mark in exactly 28 games.  

Tweet from @AmerksHockey: RECAP | Eric Cornel and Sean Malone each had multi-point efforts while Jonas Johansson pushed his career-long win streak to six games with a 35-save effort in 3-2 win.Read: https://t.co/HiR8eM6Sg9#UnitedWeROC pic.twitter.com/LOf2MJxeB7

  • It didn't take long for forward C.J. Smith to make in impact his return to the lineup. In three games back since returning to the Amerks lineup this past Wednesday night against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the third-year winger has produced a pair of multi-point games highlighted by a three-point effort (1+2) in Saturday's 5-0 win over Laval. 
  • Last season, the former AHL All-Star MVP tallied a personal-best 28 goals, 30 assists and 58 points in 62 games. 
  • Through 15 contests this season, Smith has registered 11 points (5+6) while being one of three Amerks skaters with four multi-point games.

Tweet from @AmerksHockey: 🎟��� Ticket Tuesday 🎟��� Enter for a chance at (2) two Lower Level Tickets and a @NewEraCap for Friday's game vs. the Charlotte Checkers! 🎟������ https://t.co/iZxgTaEAxC pic.twitter.com/iSpkDWyWVq 

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